Cultural interaction is a two-way communication. Globalization affects not only the culture of those who taking in the imported culture but also the culture imported. To conventionalize the unconventional (glocalization)? Or, to make the conventional unconventional (logloblization)? It is only the differences of viewpoints. My everyday life is a new experience to you while your daily routine is an exciting adventure to me. In short, whether the product is conventional or unconventional depends on which convention the market has adopted.
The purpose of designing is to bridge the gap and to create a sense of beauty formed by the distance of culture.
The beauty formed by the distance of different culture is, um, for example, CJK characters tattoos. Regardless of the meaning of the words, a font regarded as cheesy by CJK characters users can be an artful font to others. Since we have seen such fonts printed on street vendors’ menus, or on billboards advertising weight loss, the font is far from a representative of beauty in our culture. We have different aesthetic standard regarding CJK characters. After all, CJK characters users have seen more and better CKJ characters fonts than non-CKJ characters users.
Of course, designers will know how to choose the font that pleased both parties. Otherwise, they probably shouldn’t try using it, considering those “failed” tattoos.
Design is the language
Good design requires cultural connotations. We are in the era of globalization, and it is hard to predict which market the product will eventually be, unless the product itself is developed for a specific group, for example, a Muslim women's sports hijab (we’ll talk about this next time). There are too many factors, including the culture of the product itself, of the users, and of the designers. Therefore, designers tend to choose to satisfy contemporary Western aesthetics which are rather universal and common to most culture. (Thanks to globalization, again.)
Culture homogenization has narrowed the gap and lessened culture diversities. How do you stay in your own track when others recommend you their lifestyle? This is a topic that needs to be faced in the time of cultural standard, globalization and cultural colonialism.
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